Tuesday, 16 October 2012

FG pledges to widen broadband penetration

– Vice President Namadi Sambo said on Tuesday that the Federal Government was committed to harnessing the potentials of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to widen broadband penetration across the country. A statement issued in Abuja by the Senior Special Assistant to the vice president, Alhaji Umar Sani, said that Sambo made this disclosure at the ongoing International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World Forum 2012 holding in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Sambo said that in line with the national policy on ICT, Nigeria was set to harness the potentials of the ICT industry and had made broadband a priority policy area. “The Government of Nigeria is committed to achieving this because, like many other governments, it is convinced by the evidence that shows that access to broadband extends into many areas like health, education, finance, trade, governance and security.’’ He said that Nigeria, at the inception of GSM operations had only about 867,000 subscribers in 2001, “but today it has more than 105 million active mobile GSM subscribers, with more than 45 per cent Nigerians connected to the Internet.’’ He said that the Federal Government was keen on capitalising on the achievement to build “a robust, secure, high-speed, nation- wide communications network that allows accessing the Internet to become a way of life for most Nigerians.’’ The statement quoted Sambo, who represented the president at the event as saying that for the real sector to function efficiently and prosper, ICT infrastructure must be available. The vice president expressed the Nigeria’s government appreciation to the United Arab Emirates for hosting the annual event. Earlier, the ITU Secretary-General, Mr Hamadoun Toure, lauded Nigeria’s giant strides in the Information and Communication industry, where Nigeria had for five years in a row ranked first in mobile penetration growth. He described Nigeria as “one of the giants in Africa and that has woken up and is ready for business.’’

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